Timmy Jernigan bringing ‘contagious energy’ to Eagles’ playoff run

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Timmy Jernigan bringing ‘contagious energy’ to Eagles’ playoff run

At some point after Sunday’s 16-15 win over the Bears in Chicago, Tim Jernigan celebrated by wearing that black ski mask, he loaned his dorky 50-year-old coach his iced-out Jesus piece and then cheesed hard, gold teeth shining, for a photo. 

This photo. 

Make no mistake about it. Jernigan is a very good football player. And his presence on the football field will certainly help the Eagles win games. But Jernigan brings more than that. 

Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz tried to describe it earlier this week: 

He means something to our spirit. He's a guy that has a little bit of a contagious energy. You just see him out on the field. He brings a confidence. He brings a toughness. He has made some big plays for us. 

Jernigan, 26, is healthy now. He was able to play 22 snaps Sunday and said this week that he feels good to know. That’s enough reason to keep him smiling after an offseason when he was unsure of his football future and a season that certainly hasn’t gone to plan. 

So this is just Jernigan back being himself. And his teammates absolutely love his personality. Ask anyone about Jernigan and they’ll tell you that Jernigan just brings some juice to the team. 

I asked Jernigan if it’s a conscious decision to bring energy. His answer was classic Timmy: 

Nah, man. That’s just who I am. I don’t try to be a mascot or nothing like that. I’m a 3-technique, dawg. I ain’t gotta do all that. That’s just who I am. I love football, I love the game. 

I’ve been through some things that I definitely cherish every second that I can on the football field now. Not saying that I didn’t, but I’m a lot more conscious about every time I get on the football field, I need to take advantage of it and stay thankful.

One of those things Jernigan went through was what I alluded to just a bit ago. This offseason, he had surgery on his back for an unspecified injury. He still won’t get into the cause of the injury but has said he was worried he’d never play football again.

So just getting back on the field means a ton to him. He was already a fun, energetic guy before all that. After it? He’s just having fun again with his teammates. 

“Some people have personalities that people gravitate toward,” Chris Long said. “He’s one of my favorite guys to play with on the team. He helps on the field and obviously, his attitude helps as well.” 

The Eagles got Jernigan from Baltimore in a swap of 25 places in the third round. The Eagles used the 99th pick they got back for Rasul Douglas, who has been a big part of the last two seasons. The Ravens drafted DE Chris Wormley with the pick they got. He has started eight games in two years and got his first and only sack this season. 

It didn’t take long for Jernigan to win over his new teammates. He has an infectious personality. On Jernigan’s first day back at practice this season, Pederson made sure to greet him with a giant hug during warmups. Everyone was happy to see him back on the field and he’s meant something to the team since he’s been back. 

I asked Michael Bennett for an example of how Jernigan brings energy and he said he didn’t really have one. 

“Like, he brings energy,” Bennett said. “You can’t see energy. You can just feel it.”

The Eagles are feeling it during this playoff run. And Jernigan will be smiling the whole way.

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Add Ronald Darby to the list of injured Eagles

Add Ronald Darby to the list of injured Eagles

Starting cornerback Ronald Darby popped up on the Eagles’ injury report Friday with a hip flexor strain and is questionable for the Eagles’ game Sunday against the Redskins.

Darby wasn’t on the injury report Wednesday or Thursday and was a full participant in practice. He’s listed as a limited participant on Friday, which likely means he either got hurt during practice or an injury he suffered Monday night against the Giants got worse.

In either case, it’s yet another injury for an injury-riddled team. The only defensive players to start all 13 games are Malcolm Jenkins, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham and Rodney McLeod.

The Eagles do have some depth at cornerback, since they’re carrying seven corners on the 53-man roster.

Jalen Mills is expected to be OK for Sunday after hurting his elbow in the Giants game. He was a full participant on Friday after being limited on Thursday.

Rasul Douglas would likely be the starter opposite Mills if Darby can’t play. Douglas has started 17 games in his three-year career, including five earlier this year.

Avonte Maddox can play outside but has been in the slot for the nine games he’s been healthy, averaging 46 snaps per game. Sidney Jones, who started four games earlier this year, is also available. Cre’Von LeBlanc is being brought back slowly after being on IR most of the year, and Craig James hasn’t played a defensive snap in nearly two months.

Darby missed half of the 2017 season with an ankle injury, half of last year with a torn ACL and four games earlier this year with a hamstring injury. He’s played only 29 of a possible 50 games since he got here in the summer of 2017.

The Eagles have don’t have a cornerback who’s played defense in every game this year. They’ve used eight different combinations of starting corners in 13 games.

The Eagles signed the 25-year-old Darby to a one-year contract worth $6.5 million. He has two interceptions in nine starts.

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Eagles vs. Redskins 2019: TV schedule, storylines, game time and more

Eagles vs. Redskins 2019: TV schedule, storylines, game time and more

The Eagles (6-7) are visiting the Redskins (3-10) at FedEx Field on Sunday afternoon. 
Here’s everything you need to know:  

•12 p.m.: Eagles Pregame Live on NBCSP
•1 p.m.: Eagles at Redskins on FOX 
•4 p.m.: Eagles Postgame Live on NBCSP 
•10 p.m.: Birds Outsiders on NBCSP 
The FOX broadcast crew for this game is Thom Brennaman (play by play), Chris Spielman (analyst) and Shannon Spake (sideline). You can also stream the game on FuboTV.
Merrill Reese, Mike Quick and Howard Eskin will have the call on 94WIP. 
The Eagles opened as 6-point favorites in some places but that has slipped to around 4 1/2 points. The over/under is 39. 

The referee for Eagles-Redskins is second-year referee Shawn Smith. This is his first game reffing an Eagles game. The Eagles were 2-1 with him as an umpire in 2016 and 2017. 

Keep it going

The Eagles got off to a terrible start against the Giants last week before they turned it around, scoring the last 20 points of the game and getting a huge overtime win. So which team shows up on Sunday? The team that fell behind 17-3 to the Giants or the team that rallied to a win? 

It’ll be key for the Eagles to find what works for Carson Wentz in this game a little earlier. They got him into rhythm last week, but that didn’t happen until the third drive of the third quarter. 

No receivers left 

The Eagles began the season with DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. That was nice for that one game. Going into Week 15, with Agholor’s status uncertain, the Eagles’ top three receivers might be J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward and Rob Davis. Not exactly what the Eagles had in mind this offseason. 

A rookie QB 

The last time the Eagles faced Washington, in the opener, Case Keenum was the starter. So this will be their first time facing rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins. While the Redskins have won two of three, they’re still a mess of an organization, so who knows what the future holds for Haskins. They have an interim coach and it’s possible the next head coach will want to pick his quarterback, which could leave Haskins in limbo. But there’s also a possibly Haskins is still their long-term QB. It’ll be interesting to see what happens down there.  

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